Featured artists share passions, stories ahead of Art Scene anniversary

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The Franklin Art Scene is celebrating its eighth anniversary Friday, and both visual and vocal artists will set up in downtown Franklin shops, sharing their craft and talents with art crawlers. 

The Art Scene takes place on the first Friday of every month from 6-9 p.m. 

Artist Sissy Harrington 

Franklin Road Apparel Company, one of the Art Scene stops, will host visual artists Sissy Harrington and Yovi Veliz, as well as Nashville folk-blues trio South For Winter. 

For Harrington, who owns Visual Assembly, this will be her first time sharing her love of fiber art with art crawlers in Franklin. She’ll give a live demonstration. 

A year and a half ago, Harrington discovered a love for macramé and macraweave, which involves knot tying. Books from the 1970s inspired her to pursue the unique art form herself. 

“Macramé is the art form of knot tying,” she said. “The knots themselves are not difficult to learn with some practice. It’s just the series you create with the knots that creates so many different variations.”

An art graduate of North Carolina State University, Harrington has called Nashville home for 13 years. She originally made the move to Music City to pursue music; however, she felt a stronger calling to become an artist. 

Some of her handmade work include dream catchers and practical and decorative wall hangings. She uses all natural products such as cotton and wool, in her projects. 

“I do custom pieces for people that mean something to them,” Harrington said. “I want them to feel connected to their space.” 

With every knot Harrington ties, her hope is that the work she creates will help better connect people and their spaces they spend a lot of time in. 

“My art is made with an intention, and it’s an almost meditative process,” she said. “My wish is that the pieces would create a connection between people and their spaces.” 

Artist Pat Bistline 

At the Williamson County Archives, artist Pat Bistline will display a variety of her oil paintings representing religion, pet portraits and landscapes. Bistline currently lives in Mt. Juliet. 

The famous American painter Bob Ross inspired Bistline, a retired nurse, back in 1985. 

“I was looking for news in the middle of the day, and on PBS there was good ole Bob Ross,” she said. “I stood there transfixed watching him create an entire oil panting in 30 minutes.”

Bistline was inspired to start taking art classes and started to develop her own identity as an artist.

“I do a huge variety of things. I get bored doing the same thing, so I do it all,” she said. 

Bistline describes some of her artwork done for Holy Family parish in Cahokia, Illinois as a “moment in the sun.” 

The priest of the parish presented two reproductions of Bistline’s work to Pope John Paul II in 1998. Also, a painting of Mother Teresa was received by her order at the Vatican. 

While the reproductions are in the Vatican’s archives and not available for public viewing, Bistline still sees the whole situation as an honor.  

“I only know that it was received at the Vatican, and it’s still at the Vatican, and that’s good enough for me,” she said. 

Bistline is also sharing her artistic and nursing abilities to help veterans heal. She has partnered with the VFW of Wilson County and the VA in Murfreesboro to teach oil painting classes for free. 

“For many of the individuals, they’ve been deeply impacted by learning how to paint,” she said. “I think when they’re focused on what is in front of them, creating something with their own two hands, it becomes meditative.”

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